Cathedrals and churches of Antwerp

Cathedrals and churches of Antwerp, religious sites

The Belgian city of Antwerp has always been a concentration of historical sights. A large seaport, trade relations became the basis for the development of various religious concessions. Thanks to this, many cathedrals and churches appeared in Antwerp, the architecture of which differs from the standard European one. When traveling around the city, it is recommended to visit them, which will allow you to look at the history of this region of Belgium in a new way.

St. Paul’s Church

This is one of the oldest churches in Ant Verpen, built in 1276 by representatives of the Dominican order. Initially, it was located in the center of the old city, not far from the Scheldt. However, the change in the course of the river caused the partial destruction of the temple. One of the architects of Notre Dame Cathedral took part in the re-erection. After being taken over by the Calvinists in 1578, the building was converted into a foundry. Most of the religious decorations and vaults were destroyed.

St. Paul's Church

In 1605, the Dominicans regained power in the city and began to restore their temple. The final reconstruction of St. Paul’s Church in Antwerp was completed in 1654. Features – a baroque tower appeared, Golgotha was equipped in the back of the territory. This situation continued until 1802, when the building became the property of the municipality.

Interesting facts about St. Paul’s Church:

  • Now it belongs to the Roman Catholic direction of the Christian faith.
  • The large marble altar was made by the famous craftsman Peter Verbruggen in 1670.
  • The facade of the building was built in the style of laconic Gothic, but the bell tower has the shape of a Baroque.
  • Inside the columns are decorated with an ornament of cabbage leaves.

Due to a fire that broke out in 1968, most of St. Paul’s Church in Antwerp was destroyed. Recovery is still going on. The tower and vault, dome suffered the most. However, despite this, tourists and independent travelers can visit it, take photos and videos for their reviews of Belgium.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp

The most recognizable landmark of Antwerp is the Cathedral of Our Lady, which now belongs to the Roman Catholic parish. The construction of the religious building began in 1352. The main style is Gothic, which was later supplemented with elements of Baroque and early Renaissance. The authors of the project are Jean and Peter Amelie. The exterior façade and interior decoration were damaged during severe fires in 1434 and 1533. During the French Revolution, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp was shelled. Currently, the architectural complex is under the protection of UNESCO and is listed as a World Heritage Site.

Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp

For any resident of Antwerp, the Cathedral of Our Lady is the central cathedral. Here passing the church services of the Roman Catholic Church. At the same time, it is one of the main attractions of the city, located in the central part. If you decide to visit this region of Belgium, be sure to go to the church, get acquainted with its architecture, interior painting, listen to how the organs sound.

Interesting facts for tourists and independent travelers:

  • There are two organs on the territory of the church. One of them, in addition to the original sound, has a unique neo -baroque look.
  • The choir of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Antwerp was created in 1382. Here are collected groups of boys, girls and adult singers. Programs – religious chants.
  • Three towers of the church. The highest of them is the northern one. Its height is 132 meters. The southern one was supposed to have the same height, but due to lack of funding, it has not yet been completed.
  • Here you can see the original paintings by Rubens “Exaltation of the Cross”, “Descent from the Cross”, “Ascension of the Blessed Virgin Mary”.

One of the few surviving values of the Antwerp Cathedral is the statue of Our Lady, made from a single piece of wood, polychrome walnut. It was made in 1568, when the cult of the fight against icons and idolatry began to flourish. The article presents four evangelists standing against the backdrop of a crescent moon and a globe. Tourists and independent travelers are recommended to explore this attraction of Antwerp.

Church of St. Jacob

Compostela for the burial of St. Jacob in the northern part of Antwerp. A little later, in 1476, it became a church, the reason being the popularity of the townspeople and the worship of this saint. At that time, this Antwerp church became popular among the locals. It was planned to build a tower 150 meters high. However, due to lack of funding, this project was not completed.

Church of St. Jacob

In 1586, most of the cathedral was destroyed, but part of the baroque interior was preserved. During the French Revolution, a priest was allowed to return to the city and he chose the church of St. Jacob as a passage. From that moment, the construction of large glass stained-glass windows began. But during the Second World War, most of them were destroyed.

What you can see in the Church of St. Jacob in Antwerp:

  • Old organ. It is known for being played by many famous authors and performers, including Henry Bredemers.
  • It is made of carved choir wood and is not inferior to well-known European counterparts in its beauty.
  • Main altar. It was built in 1658 and has survived to this day in perfect condition.
  • Lodewijk was invited to build the central pulpit.

If you want to really touch the history of Antwerp, be sure to visit the Church of St. Jakob. This is a functioning temple, where services are periodically held, you can listen to the sound of an ancient organ. Be sure to take a photo against the background of the facade of the building.

Church of San Carlo Borromeo

For the construction of the main temple of the Jesuits in the XVII century. in the city, a baroque project was chosen. In many ways, his style imitates the architecture of the Il Gesú church in Rome. In appearance, facade and interior decoration, it is not inferior to the original. Most of the decoration of the building was done by Rubens. However, due to a lightning strike and a fire in 1718, most of the master’s works were destroyed. But in the Rubens Museum you can see their sketches and sketches.

Church of San Carlo Borromeo

The facade of the church is made of Italian marble, in particular – the side chapel of the Virgin Mary. It was created by Rubens and is one of the few works of the master that have come down to our time. Be sure to visit the central altar, located under the gilded dome of the building. The latter depicts almost all biblical characters. The baroque style of the interior is emphasized by oak leaves carved on all the columns of the temple.